Farmers using large amounts of water may have to register usage levels
Irish farms that use large volumes of water may soon be asked to sign up to a water abstraction register under new proposals by Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.
It is understood that businesses and farms that use large amounts of water may be asked to sign up to the register if they use more that 25 cubic meters (25,000L) of water per day.
The proposal is understood to be due to increasing pressure from the European Commission to create such a register for large abstractors.
The measure will only affect the largest farmers in the country, who use significant amounts of water every day.
According to Teagasc, lactating dairy cows producing 36kg of milk per day can consume between 80-100L of water per day.
Using these figures the register will affect farmers with in excess of 250 cows. Major pig farmers are also likely to asked to sign up to the register.
Responding to questioning from FarmIreland.ie, a spokesperson for the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government said Ireland is required under the EU Water Framework Directive to develop and maintain a register of significant water abstractions.
It said this requirement is needed to facilitate the long-term sustainable management of our water resources and added that the development of this register will aim to minimise any unnecessary administrative burden on water users.